It was on night shift at Gunnedah District Hospital when Warrant Officer Vicki Lousick decided to pursue the idea of joining the RAAF as a Medical Assistant.
A colleague had come across a magazine ad seeking medics and encouraged her to apply.
"I thought to myself, this could be an interesting path to take, I’ll apply and see if I am successful, that was now over 20 years ago," Warrant Officer Lousick said.
"My favourite roles have been in Aeromedical Evacuation (AME). I love the diversity, one day I could be working in the health centre, the next training on a static aircraft and the next flying to somewhere exotic in the world to bring a patient home for definitive care."
RAAF Medics provide medical support in military health centres and on exercises and deployments, carrying out duties ranging from general nursing to aeromedical evacuations from conflict and disaster zones and providing Defence aid to the civil community.
Born in Armidale, NSW, Warrant Officer Lousick is currently posted to the Operations and Plans Cell at HQ Health Services Wing located at RAAF Base Amberley.
"I enjoy the variety of work, be it supporting planned exercises, operations and activities, or the short-notice-to-move tasks that require rapid planning and deployment," she said.
"Being able to achieve all unit requests to ensure they meet their CAF preparedness is challenging and requires lots of innovative thinking, but it’s satisfying when you come up with workable solutions."
Multiple deployments have provided unique opportunities to apply her specialist skills in the field. In Iraq she was embedded in an American hospital dealing with trauma and emergency medicine. In East Timor she consolidated her fixed and rotary wing AME skills while providing care to locals and coalition personnel.
"All of my deployments have had the same theme – providing care to those who are vulnerable in times of need," Warrant Officer Lousick said.
"Highlights for me have been working as part of a team providing life-saving skills and just being there to lend an ear to patients who needed to talk. These experiences have made me into the person and medic I am today."
As a member who loves her job, Warrant Officer Lousick recognises that this has much to do with Air Force’s cohesive organisational culture.
"I love the camaraderie – some of my best friendships are with people I have met through Defence," she said.